Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama.
Poverty is affecting people around the world and Fiji is no exception says Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama.
Speaking on Radio Fiji One’s ‘Na Noda Paraiminisita” program, Bainimarama dismissed claims by National Federation Party Leader Biman Prasad and Unity Fiji Leader Savenaca Narube who say that fifty percent of Fiji’s population is living in poverty.
Bainimarama adds studies have shown otherwise and these two leaders should provide evidence of their claims.
Backing his argument, the Prime Minister stated that the latest World Bank figures show poverty has significantly dropped.
“The World Bank report has confirmed that poverty in Fiji has dropped by 24.1 percent when compared to the 35 percent reported by the Fiji Bureau of Statistics for 2002 and 2003.” Poverty in Fiji has made a downward trend in the last 20 years.”
Bainimarama says the government is doing all it can to assist those who are struggling.
“Poverty is everywhere, Fiji included.” A household survey is done every four years and the data is kept well. I am not denying that poverty is not here, but the government has taken steps to eradicate it.”
The Prime Minister says increasing the minimum wage rate is one of the countermeasures the government has recently put in place.
He adds that COVID-19 and climate change have exacerbated the problem which was improving, but the government will continue to look at ways to help Fijians.